Was Pawar slapped only once? quips Anna
Anna Hazare was taken by surprise when he was told that Union Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was slapped by a youth at the NDMC centre in Delhi.
Ralegan Siddhi/New Delhi: Anna Hazare on Thursday
tied himself in knots with his reaction to the attack on
Sharad Pawar first appearing to respond with contempt and
later condemning it.
"He got slapped! Only one slap?" he said to a group of
journalists who broke out in laughter at his reaction.
But later coming out of the room, he condemned the
incident saying such acts of violence were not good.
"He (the attacker) may be very angry. This is not good.
Anger is not good. Our Constitution does not tell us to be
violent with anyone," Hazare told reporters in Ralegan Siddhi.
As word about his remarks created ripples, Hazare said he
was talking to 200-300 visitors and someone sent a note that
Pawar was attacked.
"I was asking them, was he only slapped and anything else
happened to him," he said. After that he spoke to the media
and told them it was not a slap on the face of Pawar but a
slap on democracy.
There is no place for violence in democracy, he said.
However, he said the government has to think about how to
keep the anger of the masses under check. "People are angry.
There is corruption and price rise....there is the issue of
Jan Lokpal....people are angry over so many things," he said.
When pointed out that BJP leader Yashwant Sinha had
warned of violence if price rise went unchecked, Hazare said,
"there should not be violence in a democracy."
Condemning the attack, Team Anna member Kiran Bedi said
politicians may get targeted if a "proper" Lokpal bill is
"Pray proper lokpal bill gets passed in winter session or
else pent up anger may come on streets. Politicians may get
targeted," Bedi, who was in the eye of a storm for mocking
politicians during Hazare`s Ramlila Maidan agitation, tweeted.
"While condemning assault on public functionaries, (one)
needs to analyse why is this happening and what must done to
contain this...Assault on public functionaries calls for
serious reflection at all levels of society including media
forums," Bedi said.
Agriculture Minister Sharad Pawar was slapped by a youth
at a public function claiming he was angry with corruption and
Pawar, who went to a literary function at a public
auditorium on Parliament Street, was slapped by Harvinder
Singh, a transporter in his thirties who had assaulted former
Telecom Minister Sukhram outside Rohini Court on Saturday
after he was sentenced in a corruption case.